The Enhancing Audio Description II project seeks to explore the potential of sound design practices and spatial audio to provide accessible film and television experiences for visually impaired audiences. It fuses audio technology and creativity to widen the notion of media accessibility and increase the quality and quantity of provision, providing cutting edge techniques to the UK cultural sector.

Binaural listening test room

Enhancing Audio Description II: implementing accessible, personalised and inclusive film and television experiences for visually impaired audiences, is a project that proposes a new paradigm in accessible experiences, in which there is not an overreliance on a narrator's spoken word, as in traditional Audio Description practices. Instead it utilises new accessibility features that include: the addition of sound effects, the spatialisation of dialogue and sounding objects, and first-person narration, to provide accessible experiences that are seamlessly integrated to the soundtrack of a film or television programme. These techniques are integrated into film and television workflows from the development phase up to final delivery.

The project builds up from previous research which demonstrated the success of these methods, and explores them even further, by concentrating on the conveyance of cinematographic elements through sound, the exploration of the intricacies of using first-person narration across different genres and different cast sizes, as well as exploring how spatialisation techniques can be adapted for multi-listener scenarios for a variety of loudspeaker formats. The exploration of these methods will be conducted with an end-user centred approach, in which visually impaired audiences are consulted from the design process up to delivery. Furthermore, the project explores the creation of guidelines that will allow the incorporation of these methods to professional broadcasting pipelines and film workflows, by collaborating with a Project Advisory Panel representative of the different roles in film and television as well as end users.

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The logo of BBC Sounds.

BBC Sounds Amazing

On 25 Oct 2020, Mariana gave a presentation at BBC Sounds Amazing - Celebrating Innovation in Audio. Find out more.

The logo of the Digital Television Group.

DTG Summit

On 7 Oct 2020, Mariana was invited to give an online presentation on the project at the Digital Television Group (DTG) Summit, in the Next-Generation Audio and Accessibility session.

The logo of the Digital Television Group.

Evolving Access Services

On 28 May 2020, Mariana gave a presentation titled EAD; Integrated Access, Sound Design and Binaural Audio at the Evolving Access Services - Content for All, Television for All online event organised by the DTG Accessibility Group. Find out more.

A photo of buildings of Brunel University.

Brunel University London

On 26 Feb 2020, Mariana gave a presentation titled EAD; Towards Accessible Creative Experiences in Film and Television at Brunel University, London.

Mariana speaking behind a lectern.

Eleanor Worthingon Prize

Back in May, I had the honour to be invited to give a short introductory speech as part of the Associazione Premio Eleanor Worthington International Exhibition on Art and Disability that took place at York St. John University in York (UK). Find out more.

Mariana presenting in front of an audience

EAD in Milan and Hamburg!

We haven’t published a post since March so we thought it was time we updated you on what we’ve been up to. Find out more.

A photo of a wide hallway with loads of people.

Klingt Gut! Symposium on Sound

On 7 Jun 2018, Mariana presented Shelf Life - Incorporating Accessibility to Sound Design at at the Kling Gut symposium, Hamburg. In this presentation she talked about the development of the short film Shelf Life as well as premiered the film. Find out more.

For more information on Shelf Life please visit this page.

Andre behind using an electric keyboard and headphones.

Meet musician and sound designer Andre Louis

Andre Louis is a musician, lover of all-things technology, self-proclaimed geek and loves trying out new gear whenever he can get a hold of it. Find out more.

A photo of a wide hallway with loads of people.

Sky Tech Summit

On 11 Sep 2018, Mariana was invited to give a presentation at the ‘Listen Up! Developments in Next Generation Audio’ Sky Tech Summit in London.